FORTH WORTH, Texas -- March 4, 2001 -- A brand new Porsche 911 GT3 RS race car fielded by the McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing Team, of Tavares, Fla, and piloted by German drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, dominated the GT class by scoring a...
FORTH WORTH, Texas -- March 4, 2001 -- A brand new Porsche 911 GT3 RS race car fielded by the McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing Team, of Tavares, Fla, and piloted by German drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, dominated the GT class by scoring a one-lap, pole-to-flag victory in today's Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas. For Porsche, it was the 19th win in 21 American Le Mans Series races over two years.
The second McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS, driven by Randy Pobst, from Melbourne, Fla., and Christian Menzel, from Germany, finished second, but spent the whole two hours and 45 minutes fighting off three BMW M3s and three other Porsches -- all on the same lap for most of the event. This gave Alex Job Racing a one-two finish -- its first ever in the two years of American Le Mans Series competition. The Said/Stuck BMW was third.
Luhr, who had put the car on the pole yesterday, was gratified that the rain stayed away from the Texas Motor Speedway and he could run in sunny, dry conditions.
"After running the 24 Hours of Daytona last month in the rain, and practice and qualifying here in the rain, the race car performed perfectly in the improved conditions," said Luhr, who scored his fifth ALMS career victory. Maassen has tasted ALMS victory seven times, and narrowly missed winning the driver's title in 2000. The two drivers were teammates last year with Dick Barbour Racing, but had never shared the same car.
Perhaps the most frustrated driver in the GT class was Bob Wollek, who, along with Johnny Mowlem, put the White Lightning Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS in the top three several times, but had to settle for a fourth place finish. No less than three times during the event, Wollek was shunted by other competitors, resulting in either off-course or spin-out incidents. Even so, Mowlem and Wollek finished only 1.6-seconds out of third place.
Other top Porsche GT finishers included the Kelly-Moss Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Christophe Bouchut, from France, and Atlanta's Anthony Lazzaro (sixth); the Tom Burgess/Stefano Buttiero Seikel Porsche 911 GT3 RS (eighth); and the Kelly-Moss Porsche 911 GT3 R of Rick Polk/Cort Wagner (tenth)
Built by Porsche Motorsport in the Research and Development Department at Weissach, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS delivers 420 horsepower from its 3.6-liter normally-aspirated engine. In 1999, its first year of competition, the car finished 1-2 in class at Le Mans, and has won its class in the American Le Mans Series two years in a row. Porsche also won its class with the GT3 R in the Grand American Road Racing series in 2000, and is off to a fast start to defend that title with a 1-2-3 GT finish at the recent Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. More than 70 Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and GT3 RS' have been sold so far worldwide, with almost half of those cars having raced in the U.S.
The new 2001 model of the Porsche 911 has been designated as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and is almost identical to the 2000 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The new car has a larger front radiator, a slightly different front spoiler and rear wing, and other minor changes, but remains the same for the major components. Current GT3 R owners can purchase an update kit from Porsche which incorporates all the improvements in the new car.
The next event for the American Le Mans Series circuit will be the Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Dodge, which will take place on Saturday, March 17, 2001. As they did a year ago, Speedvision will telecast the Sebring event from flag-to-flag.
LEATHER CENTER GRAND PRIX OF TEXAS -- FINAL GT CLASS RESULTS
Car # Drivers Entry/Car Laps 23 Luhr/Maassen McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 108 22 Pobst/Menzel McKenna Porsche Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RS 107 6 Stuck/Said BMW 107 30 Wollek/Mowlem White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Westward Ho! Porsche 911 GT3 RS 107 42 Lehto/Muller BMW M3 107 99 Bouchut/Lazzaro Kelly-Moss Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 106 10 Auberlen/Jonnson BMW M3 106 52 Burgess/Buttiero Seikel Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS 102 17 Trinkler/Altenburg Corvette C5-R 98 98 Polk/Wagner Kelly-Moss Racing Porsche 911 GT3R 98 12 Lewis/Rice Callaway C12-R 14